MBC hosted its awards ceremony for the 2008 Acting Awards on December 30. Let me first reiterate that I think these end-of-year broadcast-station awards are mostly meaningless. That said, this year’s Daesangs were TOTAL WEAKSAUCE, MBC. Top honor (the “Daesang” grand prize) went to…
Oh, you mean it was split this year? Between Beethoven Virus‘s much-lauded epitome of awesomeness, Kim Myung-min, and East of Eden‘s overblown and overrated Song Seung-heon?? I mean, I could understand going for the sentimental vote and awarding deceased Choi Jin-shil (she got a lifetime achievement instead), but Song Seung-heon winning acting awards is in itself a joke.
You know what that means: MBC really thought Kim deserved it but was too afraid of pissing off Song. After all, this IS Song’s first television role back from army duty, with a five-year gap since his last. He couldn’t be the star of a big-budget drama series with soaring ratings and NOT get an award (particularly when the rest of Eden all got awards), even if his acting is hardly the heart of the show, right?
Don’t get me wrong: Song Seung-heon has improved immensely over the span of his career. However, as mi madre says, “He had nowhere to go but up” since he started at the bottom of the barrel and has just now worked his way into “acceptable” range. But really, when the Daesang losers still win for Top Excellence, there’s no good reason to split the Daesang. (Unless, again, we’re going for sentiment and co-awarding Choi, but that’s a rare scenario indeed.)
Daesang/Grand Prize: Kim Myung-min (Beethoven Virus), Song Seung-heon (East of Eden)
Top Excellence (Actor): Jo Jae-hyun (New Heart), Jung Jun-ho (The Last Scandal of My Life)
Top Excellence (Actress): Lee Mi-sook (East of Eden),
Bae Jong-ok (Woman of Matchless Beauty Park Jung-geum)
Excellence (Actor): Lee Dong-gun (When Night Comes), Jo Min-ki (East of Eden)
Excellence (Actress): Han Ji-hye (East of Eden), Moon Sori (Golden Age of My Life)
New Actor: Park Hae-jin (East of Eden), Jang Geun-seok (Beethoven Virus)
New Actress: Lee So-yeon (Golden Age of My Life), Lee Yeon-hee (East of Eden)
Popular Actor: Song Seung-heon (East of Eden)
Popular Actress: Lee Yeon-hee (East of Eden)
Golden Actor Award, Miniseries Category: Ji Sung, Kim Min-jung (New Heart)
Golden Acting Award, Serial Drama: Park Geun-hyung (Woman of Matchless Beauty Park Jung-geum and East of Eden), Hong Eun-hee (Don’t Hesitate)
Golden Acting Award, Supporting Actor: Park Chul-min (New Heart and Beethoven Virus),
Shin Eun-jung (East of Eden)
Golden Acting Award, Mid-level actor: Yoo Dong-geun (East of Eden); Song Ok-sook (Beethoven Virus)
Best Couple: Song Seung-heon & Lee Yeon-hee (East of Eden)
Drama of the Year: Beethoven Virus
Special Child Actor Award: Park Gun-tae, Shin Dong-woo, Nam Ji-hyun (East of Eden)
Lifetime Achievement: Choi Jin-shil (The Last Scandal of My Life)
Special PD Award: Lee Soon-jae (Beethoven Virus); Yeon Jung-hoon (East of Eden)
Family Award: I Love You, Don’t Cry
Writer of the Year Award: Na Yeon-sook (East of Eden),
Hong Jin-ah, Hong Ja-ram (Beethoven Virus),
Kim Eun-hee (MBC Special)
Radio Top Excellence: Lee Moon-sae (This Is Lee Moon-sae In the Morning)
Radio Excellence: Kang-in (Good Friend); Kang Seok-woo (Women’s Era)
Radio Rookie Award: Kim Shin-young
So the big individual winners of the night were undoubtedly Kim Myung-min, Song Seung-heon, and Lee Yeon-hee:
But drama-wise, East of Eden was the most awarded, which isn’t surprising since it was one of MBC’s only hits in a lackluster year. To celebrate, its cast was (almost) all in attendance. Noticeably absent: dissatisfied actress Lee Da-hae. She and Dennis Oh (who was present) were also two of the only big names who didn’t get awards.
Song Seung-heon is looking mighty fine, but he tends to remind me of a robot. Like one of those burnished faces in A.I. — looking almost unnatural for its sculpted, angular beauty.
Lee Yeon-hee was one of the best-looking on the red carpet, but to be honest, she didn’t have much competition — everyone else was looking rather dull, frankly. Her dress is one of many boring black-or-white choices; very little color was seen at the awards, which makes everything seem all the more dull.
Han Ji-hye‘s heart-cutout dress seems a little too cutesy for the event, but given a night of uninteresting frocks and bland suits, she stands out with her fab makeup and hair.
Jo Min-ki (still gray for his ongoing role) and Yoo Dong-geun both collected awards for East of Eden:
Like everyone mentioned above, Lee Mi-sook and Park Hae-jin also won awards for East of Eden:
More awards for East of Eden! (Sometimes I think they create award categories just to allow all the cast members to get something.) Yeon Jung-hoon stands with fellow award-winner Lee Dong-gun, who took home a statuette for When Night Comes (although co-star Kim Sun-ah didn’t).
Congrats to the men and all, but can I just say: Yeon Jung-hoon, are you wearing a cummerbund? Without a tie? Who do you think you are, an orchestra member on a seniors singles cruise? In the ’80s??
A word to the wise: tapered pants look good on NO ONE. Dennis Oh proves that even very tall, fit men can look stumpy — er, at least, stumpier — with a bad pant cut.
As for the other big winner of the night: here we have the cast of Beethoven Virus, looking… uh, well, you decide:
For Kim Myung-min, I have no complaints. Congratulations, even if you do have to share the Daesang!
On the other hand: Jang Geun-seok.
You can almost count on Jang Geun-seok to come to a fancy event in a head-scratcher these days, given his track record. I mean, you have to try really, really hard to look so consistently awful. Not just bad, but laughably bad.
And yet he looks so PROUD of himself, perhaps for managing to wriggle into the shiny, fitted suit that looks cut for a woman? Or for figuring out how to wrap a dead animal around his neck at an appropriately jaunty angle?
Lee Jia looks similarly awful, but not quite laughably so. I tried really hard to find a picture of her looking good, but alas, it was not to be. It’s bad makeup, bad styling, bad fit, bad hair. Bad choices all around. Her weirdly hazy eye makeup gives her the appearance of bruises, or maybe the impression of having stayed up all night sobbing — at her Ice Capades-y dress, mebbe?
Award winner Jung Jun-ho (The Last Scandal of My Life):
Winner Kim Min-jung (New Heart), meh:
Winner Ji Sung (New Heart)
Everyone’s a winner! Jo Jae-hyun (New Heart) and Park Chul-min (Beethoven) both took home awards, although Juny (Beethoven Virus) did not. She looks cute in her billowy mini, though, even if I find myself concerned she’ll accidentally put herself in the way of a big gust of wind.
Bae Yong-joon (Legend), eh.
Yoon Eun-hye (Coffee Prince) did not come looking her best. The makeup looks messy, the hair is questionable, and, OH YEAH, she forgot her pants.
Bae Jong-ok (Woman of Matchless Beauty Park Jung-geum) goes for all-white, which may have stood out better at an awards show where everyone else didn’t wear all-white:
Lee Junki (Time of Dog and Wolf), YIKES. I mean, just, yikes. What is with the hair? I think Lee Junki tends to look better with longer hair, but he FORGOT TO GROW THE MIDDLE PART. It’s all long in front, and long in back, but short in between. Eek.
Okay, I’m going to give (skinny, pallid) Jung Il-woo (Return of Iljimae) a pass, even though he looks like he just crawled out of his sickbed to be here, not bothering to tuck in his clothing properly or brush his hair along the way. Because from all accounts of his work ethic, that’s probably exactly what he did.
Yoon Jin-seo, Jung’s Return of Iljimae co-star, is just another white dress in the mix. Her makeup is too plain, but I like her pop of color with the green heels.
Han Ji-min (Yi San) is a pretty, pretty lady:
Moon Sori (Golden Age of My Life) won for her current series:
Shin Sung-rok (Golden Age of My Life)
Lee So-yeon also won for Golden Age of My Life. Her dress is ugly. Like, leftover-prom-rack ugly.
Lee Hana (Women in the Sun), OY. It is becoming clear that she really needs a professional stylist consultation, stat. She hasn’t been looking too sharp at any of the awards ceremonies recently, and has again opted for a dress with an unflattering silhouette on her body, bad hair, and bad makeup. Lee Hana, you are a great actress and you do not have to dress to please us bitchy fans. On the other hand, us bitchy fans would really like to rave about how prettily attired AND talented you are, yunno?
Lee Yoon-ji (Great King Sejong) grins wide for the camera:
Hong Eun-hee (Don’t Hesitate) may be pregnant, but she’s gorgeous and glowing. Although that dress kind of looks a lot like Han Ye-seul’s from the Korean Film Awards, no?
Lee Yuri (I Love You, Don’t Cry), eh. It might have been all right without the big fat bow, though.
Kang Seok-woo won in the radio category; Choi Bul-am (Gourmet):
Lee Jung-jin came with his co-star Kim Chang-sook (I Love You, Don’t Cry):
And East of Eden even swept the child category — all three winners were featured in the earlier childhood segments: Nam Ji-hyun, Park Gun-tae, and Shin Dong-woo.
Seo Shin-ae (Thank You) is ADORABLE. And she shows how child actors can be cute, age-appropriate, AND fashion-forward. I love the cut of this jacket on her, and the festive color amidst an otherwise drab color palette for the evening.